Jazz Musician Keyon Harrold Says Son Was Racially Profiled, Assaulted


A Grammy award-winning black musician has released footage showing a white woman accosting him and his teenage son, whom she falsely accused of stealing her iPhone in a NY hotel. In May, a Black birdwatcher pulled out his phone in Central Park and captured a white woman calling police to report she was being threatened by "an African-American man". "And two, I would ask her why she would do something like this to a kid who has never met you?"

The term "Karen" took on a new meaning in 2020 stemming from multiple racially charged incidents involving women calling the police on Black men.

The woman actually left her phone in an Uber; it was later returned to her by the ride-share company.

The 14-year-old spoke out for the first time on GMA, alongside his father Keyon Harrold, his mom Kat Rodriguez and their attorney Ben Crump.

"I hate I have to post this!" he wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

"This is my phone", he replied.

The woman continues to say that "he has my phone", before telling both father and son she won't let them leave until the teen gives it back, then lunging after both of them.

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A spokesman for the Arlo said that Harrold and his son did recieve an apology from the manager and acknowledged that the situation could have been handled better, according to The New York Post. The manager insisted he was trying to "settle the situation" and "figure out what's going on here". Harrold's son could also be heard denying that he stole the phone. The woman then grew more agitated, shouting, "Show me the proof!" and then sprinting toward Harrold Jr. just as the video cuts out. "That's mine. Literally, get it back", the woman said. Harrold says he was scratched when the woman tackled his son and tried to look in his pockets. "He is a child!"

"This lady is not even a guest at the hotel". Crump told ABC News that the phone in question was later returned by an Uber driver after the owner left the phone in the vehicle, and he is petitioning Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.to bring charges against the woman who allegedly attacked Harrold and his son. In fact, an Uber driver had left it in the lobby for her.

"He wanted to know how it was his fault", Harrold said.

"He actually empowered her!"

Responding to the controversy, the hotel apologized to the Harrold family in a statement. The woman had previously stayed at the hotel, but was not a guest at the time of the assault.

In Crump's statement, he also said that they are seeking a civil rights investigation into the Arlo Hotel for its implicit bias in its treatment of the situation Saturday. "We are committed to making sure this never happens again at any of our hotels".

In an update posted to Mr Harrold's Instagram account, the family said they had made a decision to go public with the footage because of the hotel's response to the woman's behaviour.